Uganda faces condom shortage as demand soars

February 15th, 2012 - 5:38 pm ICT by IANS  

Kampala, Feb 15 (IANS) Uganda is facing a condom shortage as an increase in demand in the East African nation has led to the import of 120 million contraceptives annually in the last five years, a top official said.

Zainab Akol, AIDS control program manager at the ministry of health, said the country requires about three billion condoms annually to cater to about 10 million people who are in the active sex age bracket.

In the last five years, the country has been importing 120 million condoms annually. But the official said the figure was way below the current demand.

“We import about 120 million condoms a year but the consumption is high. A quick calculation is that every person has four condoms for a full year,” Akol was quoted as saying by Xinhua.

“Recently, we received about 10 million condoms from the UN Population Fund and the US Agency for International Development (USAID) but still that is not enough,” she said.

“Most Ugandans know that condoms if correctly used can prevent HIV infection but 50 percent of our population is young people and few among them know the proper way of using them,” said Akol.

The International Condom Day was observed Feb 13. Uganda first marked the National Condom Day in 2009.

The day globally helps to create awareness about the use of condoms for HIV prevention and promotion of reproductive health.

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